What Does It Mean to Be American?

The monologue at Hamilton College: your tuition dollars and donations at work.

https://my.hamilton.edu/news/story/what-does-it-mean-to-be-American

The panelists came from diverse backgrounds representing North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa, ensuring that each individual would bring a unique set of experiences to the table. The hosts were Gretha Suarez ’15 and Carol Antunez ’15.  Panelists included Ming-De Xu,  East Asian Languages & Literatures (Chinese); Juana Sabadell-Nieto, Hispanic studies, Nigel Westmaas, Africana Studies; Alan Cafruny, the Henry Platt Bristol Professor of International Affairs; Amit Taneja, director of the Days-Massolo Center; Janet Turvey, assistant to the chief diversity officer; Fidaa Abuassi, Fulbright FLTA Fellow; and Sadiq Abubakar ’15. 

No panelist identified him or herself as fully American. Rather, each spoke to their experiences with American people, and the extent to which they felt they had adopted the U.S. culture. Cafruny, the only “natural born U.S. citizen” on the panel expressed discomfort with the idea of nationalism as it relates to any country and prefers to represent himself as a global citizen.

Comparative quality is always of interest. See the link to  the Alexander Hamilton’s recent colloquium Samuel Huntington and the Clash of Civilizations.  Note the speakers of national prominence.

For a stark contrast, consider the speech by a Hamilton student and AHI fellow, Deal Ball, which nearly upstaged the keynote speaker, Dr. James Kurth, Claude Smith Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College and one of Samuel Huntington’s former students.

After that brief respite, and as they might say in Eduland TV, we return you now to our normal programming. For the students, parents, and alumni of Hamilton that would be summarized by, well … read the article.

 …

Note: if you have problems getting to the article What Does it Mean to be an American? let us know, and we’ll get you a copy. 

 

 

Posted on May 2, 2013 at 07:42AM by Registered Commenterhb | Comments1 Comment

Sound familiar?

Click below to watch the launch of the NAS report What Does Bowdoin Teach? in New York City on April 3, 2013, hosted by the Manhattan Institute. Bill Bennett was the keynote speaker.

http://www.nas.org/articles/video_bowdoin_report_launch_event

Posted on April 9, 2013 at 02:17PM by Registered Commenterhb | CommentsPost a Comment

A confession of failure

Posted on April 6, 2013 at 12:02PM by Registered Commenterhb | CommentsPost a Comment

A forensic review of Bowdoin: the culture, pedagogy, politicization & process 

The National Association of Scholars has produced a remarkable study that should be of interest to all

  • alumni of Hamilton College
  • alumni of all the NESCAC schools or any liberal arts college  
  • parents of current students
  • parents of prospective students

 It is a long report and extensively documented. Some of the facts of campus culture are not pleasant, none in dispute.   Alumni of Hamilton will find much familiar turf: same stuff, different place.

 

Bowdoin happens to be the lucky winner of this particular explication. The questions & issues raised in this report warrant broad distribution to all parties at interest, so share it with your friends.  It also warrants serious review by Bowdoin’s trustees.

 

 

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 11:57AM by Registered Commenterhb | Comments1 Comment

The Mighty Maze part II

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 05:26PM by Registered Commenterhb | CommentsPost a Comment

Join a national town hall telephonic meeting about costs & quality of higher education

Do you wonder, “What can I do about the cost & quality of higher education?”
If so, please join us at a town hall meeting, the first ever interactive meeting will be held on 

Monday, March 25th at 1PM Eastern Time
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See the link for dial-in details:
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Spearheaded by American Council of Trustees and Alumni and concerned alumni from Colgate, Yale, Harvard, Hamilton, and other schools, the meeting will address ways that alumni can effect positive change at their alma maters so that today’s students can receive a great education without going broke.  
Greg Narag of “A Better Colgate” will moderate the discussion. Panelists will include: 
  • Dr. Richard Vedder, President of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity
  • Dr. Robert Kraynak, Director of the Center for Freedom and Western Civilization at Colgate University and a Senior Fellow of the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization.   
  • Anne Neal, President of American Council of Trustees and Alumni and Director of the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization
Each panelist will offer opening remarks and answer questions from the moderator and the participants.
You will have the opportunity to submit questions to the panel and learn about strategies for alumni involvement. 
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Please tell your friends and colleagues—anyone who might be interested!
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To register for the event or to ask any questions, please contact ACTA at wgonch@goacta.org.

 

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 02:59PM by Registered Commenterhb | CommentsPost a Comment

A sensible discussion of inviting speakers to campus

A Speech Too Far from the Pope Center.

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 08:37AM by Registered Commenterhb | CommentsPost a Comment

Hamilton's Diversity Problem

See the article Hamilton’s Diversity Problem

“The apparatus has grown so vast and intertwined over the years that the college had to establish a “Diversity Coordinating Council” comprised of the Chief Diversity Officer, the Director of Opportunity Programs and Pathways, the Director of Diversity Recruitment, the Director of the Diversity and Social Justice Project, the Director of the aforementioned Days-Massolo Center, the Associate Dean of Students for Multicultural Affairs, among others.”

See also the posting below.

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 02:16PM by Registered Commenterhb | Comments3 Comments

Lecture highlights hidden diversity problem

The following appeared in the Hamilton College Spectator. It seems nothing has changed since the days of the excesses of Kirkland Project, and we recall the adventures of Ward Churchill, Susan Rosenberg et al.

The responses of the President and the administrators evidence the continuing failure of the Trustees to examine in sober manner the politicized culture of Hamilton, within and without the classroom. The scope of ideological hegemony remains well funded, seemingly unchanged. More particularly it seems to be institutionalized in the administration of the budget, either unexamined or approved. In any case the relevant data is inaccessible to outside alumni and from that perspective unaudited by disinterested parties.

The fundemental issue has been renamed, re-branded, fortified, and institutionalized.  The Trustees seemingly turn a willful blind eye, again, to a hostility that seems to have been extended from certain faculty members to now include, increasingly, a growing number of students. Dean Reynolds advises the student to “desist from emailing me on this subject further.” President Stewart unsurprisingly concludes there is no problem (how could there be, really?) and that everything is fine. Funny how students think otherwise and so documented it. We reproduce it in whole because in the past things on the Spectator have a habit of disappearing from the view of alumni.

…………………

Lecture highlights hidden diversity problem

By Dean Ball ‘14

March 7, 2013

Hamilton has a diversity problem, and it’s not the one you’re thinking of. Walk up to any poster display space in Sadove, KJ, Beinecke, or the Science Center. Look for events sponsored officially by the College (the President’s office, the Dean of Students, the Dean of Faculty, the Days-Massolo Center, etc.). Do you notice any similarities?

Perhaps you spot Dr. Wendy Doniger’s upcoming lecture on the “political framework of gender in the Kamasutra,” sponsored by the Dean of Faculty, among other offices. Or perhaps you see Marvin Sterling’s talk on Japanese reggae, paid for by the Days-Massolo Center and the Chief Diversity Office. You might find, much to your chagrin, that you missed Bat Sheva Marcus’ riveting lecture entitled “Exploring Possibilities of Pleasure”. Your eye will no doubt also be drawn to one of the biggest events of the semester: Dr. Cornel West’s lecture for the Voices of Color series. If you’re beginning to see a trend, you just might have put your finger on Hamilton’s latest diversity problem.

Each year, with the multitude of funding sources at its disposal, this college spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring speakers to the Hill. There is no reason why we cannot enjoy the benefits of inviting speakers with a wide range of academic, philosophical, social and political perspectives. And yet there is a remarkable lack of diversity in the lectures this college officially funds.

By my count, Hamilton has officially funded only one right-of-center speaker since the beginning of last semester. For the entire academic year, not one figure whose thinking could reasonably be described as Republican, conservative, libertarian or classically liberal has been invited by the college administration to speak about a political issue on this campus, save one event.

Maybe there’s no one trying to bring right-of-center speakers to campus? The college community does, after all, tend to skew to the left. The Alexander Hamilton Institute (AHI) is an independent organization (of which I am a student leader) in Clinton founded in 2006 by some of Hamilton’s finest professors. One of the reasons behind its formation was the lack of intellectual diversity at Hamilton. Almost every right of center lecture on campus since I came to Hamilton has been sponsored fully or in significant part by the AHI, though we sponsor left of center speakers as well.

Just last semester, we began arrangements to bring Dr. Kenneth Minogue, one of the most lauded political thinkers of our time, to speak about the compatibility of social justice with liberty. Dr. Minogue’s latest book, The Servile Mind, is a critical analysis of modern democracies’ effect on morality; his work is thought-provoking and insightful. It seemed like the perfect time to approach the administration about the lack of diversity among speakers. I believed, as many of you probably do, that college officials would jump at the opportunity to help foster intellectual diversity.

I spoke first to Dean of Faculty Patrick Reynolds, who explained to me that his office did not support student events. That was fine, I told him, but why do so many events credit his office and various student groups as “co-sponsors?” Further, if I were to get a professor’s support–and I had the support of more than one—could I then apply to his office for funding? Dean Reynolds replied that my questions were “not productive,” and asked me to “desist from emailing me on this subject further.” Shocked that a college official would respond so tersely to a few simple questions, I contacted President Stewart’s office for a meeting. Not only did she claim to have no funds at her disposal (not even enough for a small, symbolic gesture), she went so far as to say she couldn’t see a problem with intellectual diversity on campus. Imagine the frustration and surprise I felt when I saw her office (as well as Dean Reynolds’s) listed as a funding sponsor for Dr. West’s lecture.

There are many kinds of diversity, and Hamilton is profoundly fortunate to have the prestige and wealth to foster all of them. On an administrative level, the college is laser-focused on some forms of diversity and entirely blind to others. Why? I wish I had an answer. What I do know, however, is that the student body doesn’t share the administration’s blindness.

The Student Assembly agreed late last semester to fund Dr. Minogue’s lecture in full. He will give his talk in April. But the Student Assembly should not and cannot bear the burden of supporting intellectual diversity on its own, especially when Hamilton’s administration vigorously promotes and funds a seemingly endless range of diversity-based programming. It’s time that the administration and the Hamilton community reflect on what we mean when we use the term “diversity.” Until we do, there is little hope that our campus will ever be truly diverse.

…………………

As they say in TV-land, we now return to our normal programming (excerpted below), and one is compelled to wonder to what purpose is it directed? 

 

The Female Orgasm

Ever wanted to know how to make your girlfriend achieve a mind-blowing and toe curling orgasm? Always wondered why guys fake foreplay? Don’t worry—the Womyn’s Center, in partnership with the Emerson Literary Society have you covered. Join us for ninety minutes of astonishing knowledge with Marshall Miller and Dorian Solot, authors of I <3 Female Orgasm, that’s sure to provide a little steam to your dorm room. For more information about the Female Orgasm presentation check out sexualityeducation.com

source: http://students.hamilton.edu/womynscenter/programs-events

 

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 07:41AM by Registered Commenterhb | Comments2 Comments

The Bowdoin Project

Keep your eyes out for this: The Bowdoin Project. It will be a detailed and documented study of  Bowdoin College’s academic and intellectual life. The final project should be out in April. Hamilton alumni take note.

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 12:07PM by Registered Commenterhb | CommentsPost a Comment

And speaking of devaluing education...

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 08:53AM by Registered Commenterhb | Comments2 Comments

How Universities Devalued Higher Education

How Universities Devalued Higher Education -  on grade inflation.

What are the stats at Hamilton? Is grade inflation an issue? Is grade inflation more prevalent in some disciplines than others, for example in humanities or social sciences vs math & hard sciences? 

Applicants, parents & alumni should have an interest. 

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 08:35AM by Registered Commenterhb | Comments4 Comments

How not to waste four years in school

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 11:36AM by Registered Commenterhb | CommentsPost a Comment

Insanity

Private-College Presidents Urge a Commitment to Need-Based Financial Aid

Why reward quality when you can just redistribute wealth?” - Adam K.

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 05:16PM by Registered Commenterhb | CommentsPost a Comment

Where is the social justice crowd when you need 'em?

Interns Sue Hamilton College in Class Action

claims … he told the top two officials in the Human Resources department at a Sept. 10 meeting “that interns were being ‘used’ to work what was essentially ‘slave labor.’”

 

Posted on December 28, 2012 at 12:49PM by Registered Commenterhb | CommentsPost a Comment

The 2012 annual report of the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization

We are pleased to present the 2012 Annual Report of the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization.

Who would have thought? Five years of success and growth.

Please consider supporting the AHI in your annual gifting or estate planning. Their work, the promotion of civic and economic literacy and the development of programming to promote the study of markets, democracy and freedom, is more important than ever.

The success of the program is marked by the accomplishments of the students who participate in their programs. The AHI is developing the farm team who will assume the mantle of tomorrow’s leaders in traditional scholarship, policy, business, and media. 

Posted on December 3, 2012 at 09:08PM by Registered Commenterhb | Comments1 Comment

A town gown issue

Our view: Clinton needs to get tougher on illegal drinkers  It sounds like neither Opey nor Andy Griffith. No doubt counsellors, therapists, and awareness programs needed in great abundance. 

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 12:01PM by Registered Commenterhb | Comments2 Comments

A surprising outcome? Maybe we should find out...

Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts has banned a Christian group from campus because the group requires student leaders to adhere to “basic biblical truths of Christianity.” The decision to ban the group, called the Tufts Christian Fellowship, was made by officials from the university’s student government, specifically the Tufts Community Union Judiciary…”

Read the full story here: University Bans Christian Group for Requiring Leaders to Adhere to ‘Basic Biblical Truths of Christianity’

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 01:53PM by Registered Commenterhb | Comments4 Comments

Things not to step in

Seems Dartmouth has a bit of a problem: College Whistle Blowers Denounce Trustee Conflicts to Government. The letter is to the New Hampshire AG is here.

It’s an interesting read and taken as a whole it sets an example of what & how not to do things in many respects.

Prior disclosure and open information would have pre-empted all of the issues except investment performance here. We stipulate are not fully informed in either regard nor does the letter adaquately address them. That said, disclosure of related party transactions should always be guided by common sense and best practice, and both seem to have been AWOL.

There is nothing like a big hickey, perhaps a loss on the swap position, which may have or may not have made sense at the time, or blow out of a hedge fund, to make investment committees run silent & deep. And people really, really don’t like to lose money.  

We’re aware that long term sustained investment performance is the objective and to get it an investor has to assume risk which can make for some short term unpleasantness. Short term performance is easy to mau mau.  We’ll leave it to others to raise the issues of investment criteria, independent due diligence & performance. 

As they say, “Actual results may vary.”

Posted on June 24, 2012 at 08:54AM by Registered Commenterhb | Comments5 Comments

Sinecures in academia‚Äôs diversity industry are expanding as academic offerings

George Will: Subprime college educations

Is this related to the elimination of merit scholarships and the open curriculum? To funding budgets for programming?

 

Posted on June 11, 2012 at 09:42AM by Registered Commenterhb | CommentsPost a Comment